Advanced Research and Development Activity

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"The Advanced Research and Development Activity (ARDA) is an Intelligence Community (IC) center for conducting advanced research and development related to information technology (IT) (information stored, transmitted, or manipulated by electronic means). ARDA sponsors high risk, high payoff research designed to produce new technology to address some of the most important and challenging IT problems faced by the intelligence community. The research is currently organized into four technology thrusts, Information Exploitation, Quantum Information Science, Global Infosystems Access and Novel Intelligence from Massive Data." [1]

  • The ARDA website home page was "Last Modified: October 24, 2002 ... Last Reviewed: July 24, 2002."

According to Michael J. Sniffen, in his February 23, 2004, AP article "ARDA, researcher for the spies: No listings, but a Web site":

"CIA Director George J. Tenet founded the office in 1998, when some experts were questioning the capabilities of the National Security Agency. They worried the United States' electronic spy service, which breaks and makes codes, might lag behind private companies in the information technology industry.
"The new office researches and develops computer software and equipment to intercept and analyze foreign intelligence that is transmitted electronically _ and to protect the U.S. methods used to obtain and communicate it.
"ARDA's director, Dean Collins, oversees offices inside the National Security Agency's heavily guarded headquarters at Fort Meade, Md. Collins' agency uses the NSA for administrative support.
"It works for all the nation's intelligence services, including the CIA, FBI, Defense Intelligence Agency and parts of dozens of other departments. Its budget is part of the National Foreign Intelligence Program and is secret, although at least some of its research, particularly at universities, is unclassified.
"The office was modeled after the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to subsidize corporate and university research considered too speculative for private financiers to risk their money on. But even more than DARPA, which has 240 employees, ARDA shuns bureaucracy: It employs only eight technologists."

Another ARDA-related web site for the ARDA Northeast Regional Research Center (NRRC)-- -- is connected with the MITRE Corporation.

The "Call for Workshops 2003" (pdf file) provides this description of ARDA:

"ARDA is an Intelligence Community organization whose mission is to sponsor high-risk, high-payoff research designed to leverage leading edge technology in the solution of some of the most critical problems facing the Intelligence Community (IC). ARDA established the NRRC to create partnerships between government and industry/academic experts to identify and engage in focused, 6- 8 week long workshops to actively solve complex IC problems. The NRRC encourages novel approaches, non-traditional government contractors, and new cross-organizational teams."

"ARDA focuses on revolutionary not evolutionary advances in information technology for intelligence community grand challenge problems. It aims to achieve well-defined goals with measurable results based on sound scientific methodology. The NRRC is an essential element of ARDA's Resource Enhancement Program. The NRRC focuses on the reinforcement of ARDA thrusts by targeting scientific results that have a positive impact on Intelligence Community (IC) problems, engaging regional experts from commercial, academic, government and non-profit organizations, infusing technology into government workforce, and transfering technology to and from industry. The NRRC is sponsored by ARDA, a US Government entity which sponsors and promotes research of import to the IC which includes but is not limited to the" Central Intelligence Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and National Reconnaissance Office (NRO).

The Novel Intelligence from Massive Data / "NIMD-SAGE [is] one of seventeen ... collaborative groups, funded under the new Federal effort called Advanced Research and Development Activity (ARDA), an organization created specifically to serve the burgeoning needs of the U.S. intelligence community and to strengthen the performance of the intelligence analyst. The NIMD project's goals are multi dimensional and its organizational structures interdisciplinary." [2]

Contact details

Dr. Mark Maybury
Executive Director, NRRC
The MITRE Corporation, Bedford, MA 01730
Tel: (781) 271-7230

External links

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